Saturday, December 30, 2006

By Joe R. Lansdale

Ned the Seal returns in Lansdale tale of High Adventure and Low Humor. Having survived the Gotterdammerung of Dime Novel heroes in Zeppelins West, Ned washes up at the seaside home of Jules Verne, who just happens to be entertaining his good friend, Mark Twain. Twain is pretty much down and out and on skid row in Tangiers, Morocco so an adventure with an intelligent seal is quite a lucky break for him. Just to spice things up, the Martians invade. While the Martians’ giant, three-legged, fighting machines are nearly unstoppable, the good-guys have a secret weapon, Rikwalk. He’s a 40-foot tall intelligent gorilla, who shows up to warn of yet another disaster imperiling Earth.

Flaming London is another love note to 19th century pop-lit, from a 21st century genius. OK, it’s kind of like a love note from a crazy stalker, buts that’s all to the good. The action is non-stop as is the nutty word play and the Martian fart-jokes (yes, I wrote Martian fart-joke). Homage and parody mix in one of the funniest and best stories I’ve read in quite a while.
-Dave Hardy

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